Babies and Grandparent in the Era of a Pandemic
How important is maintaining this relationship? Can we actually measure it?
There are thousands of types of grandparents across the world. Some are career-oriented, some are family-focused, some are travelers, and some are all about cooking. The one thing they all have in common - all grandparents love their grandchildren.
Well, first of all, it’s kind of natural to love your grandchild.
But, it's also because grandchildren, and especially infants, are considered a lifelong commitment without real commitment.
Grandparents visit without the need to parent or regulate, they change diapers and feed only if they feel like it, and they always get a good night's sleep. It’s like having a baby, without really having one.
Grandparents are an important part of a baby’s life.
The real question is what effect do grandparents, or lack of, have on babies? Does it impact a specific skill set, development, wellbeing? Is it just a ‘nice to have’, or backup for parents?
Vanessa LoBue Ph.D. posted an article on ‘Psychology Today’ saying:
“Grandmother Hypothesis,” is that the more support children and mothers get—particularly from people like grandmothers who already have experience raising children themselves—the better the children will fare. Indeed, research suggests that the number of close and caring relationships one has, the better the person’s health and wellbeing will be throughout life.
Gay Ochiltree posted another article in the Australian Institute of Family studies saying:
“Grandparents have always played an important role in family life, but over the last twenty years, many have had increased responsibility for their grandchildren due to changes and issues in families and society.
The first major change is the provision of child care. Grandparents, mostly grandmothers, are the major providers of child care for preschool children, particularly for babies and toddlers, when both their parents are in the workforce.”
Interesting - right? In fact, in the coming months and year, we will likely have access to analysis about this time of COVID-19 and the distance kept from a grandparent.
Now to the big question - is the impact of grandparents on babies measurable?
Most definitely yes.
By monitoring the baby throughout the day - their cry, feeding schedules, reaction to events, sleep habits - and analyze it, we would find out some really interesting data. This is true on both a short-term basis and a long term (month and years).
This technological solution is actually available and is called Elora.
The Elora Baby Wellness monitor provides a unique solution that tracks your baby all day, learns their sounds, movements, background engagements, and translates it into information. Has your baby heard enough conversations today? Are they crying more than usual, in quarantine, and why? Have they stayed static, or moved more than usual? Have they heard enough music around them?
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